Late Night Ghost Auditions: No Callbacks Allowed

young woman in bed with alarm clock and eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder thinking about his problem on dark studio lighting in sleeping and nightmare issues

It happened last night.

I awoke to see a dark stranger standing by my bed. My heart leaped out of my chest, forcing a gasp, as adrenaline rushed through my body. I scooted across the mattress, nearly pushing my husband over the edge in the process. He, poor man, groaned, rolled over and went back to sleep. But I lay there sweating. What was that…thing?

I didn’t know. When I tried to take a closer look, it disappeared.

In the warm light of day, I brush this encounter off as an over-active imagination. I am a fiction writer after all. And I did have that chocolate mouse for dinner last night. That has to be it, right? RIGHT?

Ghostly encounters
“Ghosts are all around,” my writing buddy Joyce tells me. If anyone would know, it’s Joyce, who I met through a local writing group–the Northeast Ohio Romance Writers Association (NEORWA). She’s a member of a ghost-hunting group, called EVP Mediums and carries the title EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) investigator.

“Aren’t you afraid of ghosts?” I ask her, while visions of my mysterious late-night visitor dance in my brain.

“No, I’m not. The spirits don’t feel threatening. To me, they’re just people.”

Dead people, I think on a shiver. The thought of getting close to a ghost, let alone inviting one to speak, is, in a word, terrifying. I’ve been avoiding them my entire life, though they insist on appearing at my bedside on a routine basis and adding a dose of realism to my books.

Joyce doesn’t share my misgivings. She regularly volunteers to investigate sites known to be haunted along with other intrepid ghost hunters. They routinely tape apparitions speaking and observe dark shadows in eerie places. They even do…gasp…sleepovers.

EVP Investigator Joyce Caylor takes a break at her first overnight outing with the ghosts at Malabar Farms.

Not my kind of pajama party
Armed with camera and audio equipment, a psychic and an ordained minister, they call out to spirits, asking questions guaranteed to invoke an answer. What is your name? How old are you? Why are you here? What do you want?

In the old Mayflower Hotel in Akron, Ohio, which used to house drug addicts, the gang hears shades cry out for their drug of choice. At the Slovak Club in Lorain, ghosts are recorded speaking in…you guessed it…Slovak. At Malabar Farms in Lucas, the spirits issues words of support, uttering “I’m happy,” “He’s going,” and “Pray with you,” after the team performs a cross-over ceremony. The ceremony is performed by the group’s minister to encourage ghosts to “go to the light.”

“We always get ‘help us,'” says Joyce. “I don’t know why.”

Maybe it has something to do with being…gulp…dead.

“Has this been detrimental to your faith?” I ask.

“It’s strengthened it,” says Joyce. “I don’t worry about death. It’s made me think about my relationship with God and why this work is important to do. I kind of feel like this path opened up for me.”

In addition to the spiritual growth, there’s another benefit ghost-hunting is providing Joyce — material for her novels. She has a whole series planned, including five story ideas.

Not bad.

Hollywood has even come calling. Six members of the group (before Joyce joined) have been featured in a new series pilot on Lifetime called American Murder House.

Maybe I should encourage my late night visitor to audition?

At least he won’t have to worry about ‘breaking a leg.’

Eeks! Late night ghost encounters @EVPMediums #amwriting #ghosts #paranormal #psychic Click To Tweet


  1. Becky Lower

    I have all kinds of ghost stories–too many to divulge here. My favorite one though involves an overnight stay at a hotel in Texas which had a corral out front to house the livestock being pushed from one place to the next back in the day. I was the only one staying in that part of the hotel and the next morning I joked about me and Davy Crocket sharing a beer the previous evening. The waiter’s eyes got huge and he nearly ran from that wing of the hotel. I hadn’t seen Davy, I was just pulling the waiter’s leg. But obviously the waiter had a previous encounter with him, or some other ghost from the trail.

    • amandauhl

      Wow..that’s interesting. I love ghost stories. I just don’t want to actually meet one!

  2. Lori Sizemore

    Awesome blog post. I, too, have had my own supernatural experiences that can’t be explained any other way.

    Like you, I find the entire idea very terrifying.

    • amandauhl

      I’m always looking for a logical explanation. Like the chocolate mousse:)

  3. Sandra Dailey

    I remember the first time I saw a ghost.
    I’d been married to my husband for about two months, not yet aware that he attracts ghosts like a magnet. I was watching a strange shape outside my glass doors and called him over to ask what he thought it was. “It’s a ghost,” he said. “Get ready for bad news. Someone has come to say good-bye.” Not an hour later I got the phone call that my grandmother had died.
    Now, after 35+ years, I’ve gotten kind of used to it.

    • amandauhl

      Yikes. Now that is frightening…and perfect for a novel:)

  4. Maggie Toussaint

    Hi Amanda,

    I saw your post about this blog on TWRP authors promo list. It intrigued me because, in addition to my romantic suspense titles at TWRP, I also write paranormal mysteries for another house. The 3rd book in my Dreamwalker mysteries will be out this year. I’m looking forward to your paranormal romantic suspense! Best of luck to you.

    • amandauhl

      Hi Maggie. Thanks for checking my post out. I followed you on Twitter and will check out your books.

  5. Joanne Stewart

    Saw your post on the TWRP forums and had to come check it out. Forgive me, but I have to laugh. But only because I empathize with you. I started having my own experiences about 12 years or so ago. When we moved into this house, actually. They’ve only gotten stronger over the years. So I laugh because I know exactly how you feel. 12 years now and I only wish I could be as calm as your friend about it. They come to me while I sleep (I often have visions…just a face, peering down at me as I lay there). I’ve woken up more than once and seen someone standing beside the bed. Unless it’s a vision, I don’t see them, though, just the occasional shadow at most. I’m an empath–I feel things. So I mostly just “feel” when they’re there more so than see them, and it can disconcerting. They come while I’m in the shower. Peer over my shoulder when I’m on the computer. I never get used to it. lol I do have to admit, though, that like your friend Joyce, I’ve found I no longer fear death.

    Anyway…just wanted to share. Terrific post!

    • amandauhl

      I am amazed at how many writers see/believe in ghosts. I think writers are more sensitive to their environments perhaps. The bad thing about ghosts is even if you pick up and move THEY WILL FIND YOU. Haha Thanks for reading!

      • Joanne Stewart

        lol I didn’t want to freak you out, but I’ve found that very true. They find me in grocery stores or whenever I’m out in public, over at people’s houses, etc. Once they know you’re aware of them, they tend to follow/find you. I’ve found most of them just want help moving on. Like your friend said. It is interesting how many there are, though. lol

        • amandauhl

          You would think they’d get the message by now that I’m not helping them….haha

  6. Tena

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.
    Yep, ghosts are a way of life for me. Not sure how it all started, but perfume scents my grandmother and mother used to wear waft through my home at any given moment. The bedside sitting ghost used to scare me in the middle of the night, can figure out who he is, but no harm has come to… Other paranormal happenings are too numerous to mention. Mom used to say “I was always writing about them, so what did I expect?” Dangers of an over active imagination since childhood.

    • amandauhl

      To me it always feels like an intruder is in the room — like a real person has some how gotten in the house. It is frightening and maddening. I don’t smell anything unusual. It is just seeing someone standing there and reacting before I come to my senses and discover that whatever was there has vanished. I always tell myself it’s just an overactive writing mind but it feels real.

  7. Joyce

    Wow! I love these comments.

    It’s easy for me not to be afraid since I am engaging them and they aren’t engaging me, in my space and in my face, so to speak. But I am getting more activity since I am now listening. And so many people have stories. I can’t believe I personally know 4 people who sense spirits/have some form of physic ability.

    I always say everyone has a story. I just now include spirits!

    • amandauhl

      Seems like writers are a haven for ghosts Joyce so you are in the right place for company. Next time I see a scary figure I’m going to say two words: Joyce Caylor.

  8. Judy McDonough

    I have way too many experiences to list here, but I did have another visit from someone, hopefully my dad, this morning when I saw my hutch lights on again. The touch sensor would be easy for a spirit to manipulate with his/her energy, so I truly believe someone is hanging around. After I tucked him in last night, my sensitive 8-year-old told me he felt like someone was watching him in his room. What makes it even cooler is that we had a cardinal on our patio yesterday. It was very close to the door as if it was stopping in to say hello. I love ghosts, which is why, after all, I wrote a ghost series in the Louisiana bayou. That place is spooky enough all by itself, add in an intriguing story and people grab hold and refuse to let go. Great post! 🙂

    • amandauhl

      I saw the photo you posted of the cardinal, Judy. It did look like he was trying to talk to you. Ya gotta wonder. I have never seen a ghost as an adult in the light of day but sometimes when I’m alone in the house, I here noises that I think are the kids until I remember the kids aren’t at home. Then I say it’s just the house settling. The alternative is too scary for me to consider.

  9. Angelina Jameson

    Ack! I don’t want any visitors. 🙂 Great blog.

    • amandauhl

      Thanks Angelina. Believe me, I don’t want them either!

  10. Hebby Roman

    I’m amazed at all the ghostly encounters recorded here. Makes me feel like I’m missing something. Great blog! Loved every scary moment of it!

    • amandauhl

      Thanks Hebby:) In this instance, I think you can be glad your missing something!

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